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Kootenays road trip – Guess what I get to do tomorrow

March 19, 2009

dscn6452It’s 10:00am and I’m sitting in the Sunshine Cafe in the front looking out the window on Columbia Road here in Rossland, BC. The hostel is across the street. It’s cold and overcast and mildly snowing. Just had a nice full breakfast and did some writing on a short story I’m working on.

Rossland, BC is a small town here in the Kootenays seven miles up in the mountains from Trail, BC. Lots of snow, but it’s melting so it’s very wet here.


Rossland sort of reminds me of Cicely Alaska, the fictional town in the 80s TV series Northern Exposure. It’s weird though because that show was filmed in Roslyn, WA, the actual town which is still there and is still very much like it was in the show. Rossland – Roslyn. Hmmm.

The drive up yesterday was OK, it was seven and a half hours, crossing the Cascade Mountains which in places was just a little bit of green peeking out from a whole lot of white. dscn6432

I drove through the Okanagan valley and eventually made it the Kootenays. This route is so frustrating though, it’s hard to feel like you’re making any progress because the road goes way north, then way south, then way north again, and then south again. Arghhh! With all that north and south, it somehow meanders east.


I arrived in Rossland last night about 7:30 just as it was getting dark and found the Mountain Shadow Hostel without too much effort. Brian, the manager was very hospitable. I dumped my pack and made my bed and laid out my jammies so I wouldn’t disturb anyone if I turned in late. My two room mates were a couple of good looking guys, skiers I think. One snored a little but I found out this morning that I was the biggest snorer of all. I felt bad. Oh well.

I headed down the hill to Trail to visit Terry in the hospital. Based on how my ears were popping I reckon that was a 2,000 ft drop in elevation.  I crossed the Columbia River, that was a surprise.  I used to live near Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River.  I’ve driven east a few times from Portland and followed the river, but lost it when it turned north and I didn’t. I always wondered where it came from, now I know.

I spent a couple of hours there, she seems OK for the most part, came through the knee replacement surgery OK, but her whole leg is swollen and so is the other leg. The Doctor came in to check on her and took the dressing off, and left it. It was a couple hours before anyone would re-dress it, even though we asked.

The Doc said she was clear to go home, but we were both leery of that. We asked some questions; what about the pain, the unusual swelling, the redness and warmth on the side of the knee, I thought that was the beginning of infection but they were kicking her out. I went back to the hostel to pack up and checked out.

On the way down the mountain from the hostel to the hospital, I picked up my first ever hitchhiker. I don’t know what came over me. He was a young slender guy. I sized him up and figured I could take him if he tried anything. He was a local named Justin and his car recently crapped out on him he says, He hardly ever thumbs a ride – he says. Nice enough fellow though, he answered my questions about the town. I dropped him off in downtown Trail and wished him well.

By the time I got back to the hospital, they were having second thoughts about releasing her and ordered up an ultrasound to see if she has a thrombosis. So, now I’m sitting in the waiting room catching up on writing, while we wait to see when they are going to do this test. We don’t know if she’s going home today or tomorrow. The indecision on the part of the staff here really worries me.  I’ve had a few encounters with Canadian health care, including a couple first hand and I don’t know if I’ve just been unlucky, but I’m not impressed at all.  It seems to me that if you don’t have a personal advocate, you’re pretty much screwed.

After waiting for the test results, we finally got out of there a little after 6:00 and we began the long drive to Nelson where Terry lives, well, about a half hour beyond Nelson. Once we got settled in for the night, we were both wondering where her laptop PC is. After retracing our steps, we decided to call the hospital and sure enough, we left it there. Guess what I get to do tomorrow.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 3:55 pm

    Aw,It looks like a really cute town. Was the drive fun?

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